Sunday, January 17, 2010

Book a Week - Week Three

I'm sorry I'm all over the map on my blog, folks. I know I'm supposed to be posting about The Love Dare, but I've fallen off the dare wagon. I'm also a few posts behind on my general life stuff that I mean to do. And now, I've gone and added this Book a Week challenge with my buddies from The Well-Trained Mind forums.

*sigh* Anyway...I just finished reading A Simple Christmas by Mike Huckabee. It was an enjoyable read. I felt that I needed something relaxing and not too cerebral. This book met that need.

My complaint about the book is that it's not tightly edited. He takes three pages to say what would fit on one. There were also a few glaring word clashes. Once he said something like, "I can't verify the veracity of..." That almost hurt my ears. Two such similar words clanging together like that. Also, I got tired of every chapter ending with the refrain..."a simple Christmas. I realize he's trying to bring the theme back around each chapter but it got dull. Okay, Mike, it's a simple Christmas. We know.

Still, a very pleasant read. Good stories in there that really make you chuckle when you think of your own eccentric uncles or chain-smoking cousin or whatever oddballs make up your family history. Funny stuff.

So my book for this coming week is "Mansfield Park" by Jane Austen. I have never read that one before. I'm enjoying the language and the character development just as much as all the other Austen novels. Her word-craft rocks the house, people!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Unconditional Love

Today's Dare is about unconditional love. I've pondered it before.

I would say that most happy, lasting marriages are not truly founded in unconditional love. It would not be true to say that I would stay married no matter what, that nothing Kelly could do or become could thwart my love for him. I'm just guessing, but I think it's true from his end, too. Yes, True love is long-suffering and tolerant; it doesn't look for a reason to part company. And yes, there is an element of choosing to stay married. But still. Unconditional love? I don't even think that is healthy, let alone practical.

If my husband smacked me around, drained the bank account to buy a boat, was cruel to the kids, kicked the dog and didn't go to work, would I stay? No. I would not. If I took a job as a stripper, left the kids alone while I partied, stayed mysteriously away from home on occasion, failed to buy food and couldn't explain all those calls on my cell phone, would he stay? No. He would not. I would even hope that he respected himself better than to subject himself and our kids to such a life.

Now, if we want to talk tolerant love, okay, I'm in. You stay with your mate even if they never put their clean clothes away, leave the suitcase in the hall for a month after a trip, bring the car home with the tank on E and forget to take out the recycling. Although that suitcase-in-the-hall thing is really annoying. But, yeah, you stay.

Today's dare still works fine, even if you question unconditional love. This is the Dare:
Do something out of the ordinary today, something that proves to you and to them that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car, clean the kitchen, buy his favorite dessert, fold the laundry. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.

What do you think, dear readers? Do you love your spouse unconditionally? Do you think that is the ideal?